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Judge Tosses Part of Utah Polygamy Ban

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Judge Tosses Part of Utah Polygamy Ban
A federal judge declared a portion of Utah’s polygamy ban unconstitutional late Wednesday, essentially decriminalizing polygamy in the state. U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups ruled the phrase in the law “or cohabits with another person” is a violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is without a rational basis under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Attempt to call missing jet may alter search area

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Attempt to call missing jet may alter search area
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The search area for a missing Malaysian airliner in the southern Indian Ocean has been refined based on the latest analysis, while the investigation into how the plane came to crash cannot proceed until the wreckage and black boxes are recovered, officials said Thursday.

UN: Armed group detains 43 peacekeepers in Syria
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — An armed group detained 43 U.N. peacekeepers during fighting in Syria early Thursday and another 81 peacekeepers are trapped, the United Nations said.

FedEx Cup: Where a week can change everything
NORTON, Mass. (AP) — Stuart Appleby knows how one week can change everything during the FedEx Cup playoffs.


Obama on ISIS: “We don’t have a strategy yet”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama on ISIS: “We don’t have a strategy yet”
The president said voices in Congress “will be heard” once there are plans to defeat Islamic militants

Obama threatens further consequences against Russia
President Obama said the recent Russian incursion is an extension of months of interference in Eastern Ukraine, and while a military response is out of the question, he said there may be “additional steps” taken by the U.S. and its European allies “primarily because ewe have not seen any meaningful action on the part of Russia to try to resolve this in a diplomatic fashion.”

The end of the Scott Walker experiment?
John Dickerson: The Republican Wisconsin governor’s theories for winning aren’t panning out


AAJA And MPAC Demand Action After Fox Host Advocated For Violence Against Muslims

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

AAJA And MPAC Demand Action After Fox Host Advocated For Violence Against Muslims

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) are demanding action from Fox News after a host linked all Muslims to terrorists and advocated for violence against practitioners of the faith. 

In an August 27 statement, the Asian American Journalist Association condemned Fox co-host Andrea Tantaros for making blanket statements conflating all Muslims to the Islamic State and advocating for violence against them. AAJA called on the network to apologize:

AAJA calls for Tantaros and Fox News to apologize for the irresponsible, inflammatory statements. We also call on Fox News to discourage its journalists from making blanket comments that serve to perpetuate hate and Islamophobia.

Muslims and Islam are not interchangeable terms with terrorists or ISIS. We in the media know better and must be vigilant in our choice of words.

The AAJA joined the Muslim Public Affairs Council in their outrage over the offensive Fox segment. MPAC previously called for the network to fire Tantaros following her inflammatory statements.

The growing call for action from Fox News comes after an August 20 segment of Outnumbered featured co-host Andrea Tantaros discussing the death of journalist James Foley at the hands of the Islamic State. Suggesting that the history of Islam set a precedent for the murder, Tantaros declared that “this isn’t a surprise,” and that the only way to solve the situation was “with a bullet to the head. It’s the only thing these people understand”:


2014 and the Limits of Rage

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

2014 and the Limits of Rage
E.J. Dionne, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — The short-term future of politics in the nation’s capital will be determined in large part by which party ends up in control of the Senate. But for a sense of the long-term future of politics in the country as a whole, watch the governors races. The question to ask: Do voters begin to push back against the tea party tide that swept governorships and legislatures into Republican hands four years ago and produced the most radical changes in policy at the state level in at least a generation? On the Senate races, two things are true. Simply because so many Democratic seats are at…

Tacos, Beer, and the Banality of Evil
Heather Wilhelm, RealClearPolitics
Over the past few weeks, countless Americans have cheerfully doused themselves with ice-filled water to raise money to fight ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. With the mind-boggling success of this simple viral campaign, it didn’t take long for copycat efforts to arrive. Not all of them, alas, are heartwarming. Take the “Taco or Beer Challenge,” dreamed up by writer and abortion enthusiast Andrea Grimes. The effort calls for Americans to “eat a taco or drink a beer”—that part, I suppose, should not be surprising—and then, in a…

How Dems Can Hold the Senate; Ducey Wins in Ariz.; Thwarting Yellow Fever
Carl M. Cannon, RealClearPolitics
Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 27, 2014. On this date in 1900, two U.S. Army physicians performed an experiment that saved the South, prevented the deaths of thousands of Americans, and restored the reputation of an unfairly blamed Florida saloonkeeper — all in a single experiment. What those Army doctors did in their lab at the Columbia Barracks Hospital outside Havana, with help from a heroic Cuban colleague, was solve the terrible mystery of Yellow Fever. And it came at considerable personal cost. I’ll tell the tale in a moment. First, I’d direct you to…

Obama’s Back-to-Work Challenge
David Ignatius, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — It’s “back to school” week for President Obama, after what a CNN analyst called “the vacation from Hell.” So perhaps it’s a good time to examine what’s been going wrong for Obama recently and whether he can fix it. The common complaint of late is that Obama is “disengaged.” This has always been somewhat of an issue, given his reticent public style, but the criticism intensified during his Martha’s Vineyard holiday. It’s an odd critique: Obama works at least as diligently as George W. Bush did during his frequent trips to Texas. Even during this golf-besotted vacation, Obama…


VIDEO: Douglas Carswell announcement in full

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

VIDEO: Douglas Carswell announcement in full
Watch the full statement as Tory MP Douglas Carswell defects to the UK Independence Party. He will stand down as MP for Clacton to seek re-election in a by-election.

Will Clacton’s voters opt for UKIP?
Will the seaside seat’s greyer voters win UKIP its first MP?


New evidence coming in Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

New evidence coming in Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal?
Dems believe texts could show details of the extent of Gov. Christie’s knowledge of closures.

Listening Post: Asking Congress to Back ISIS Strikes in Syria Is Tricky for Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Listening Post: Asking Congress to Back ISIS Strikes in Syria Is Tricky for Obama
A broad authorization of airstrikes against Sunni militants in Syria would carry echoes of the Bush era, outrage President Obama’s liberal base and raise the specter of an open-ended conflict.






Over 1,000 Russian Soldiers Join Fight, NATO Says
Satellite photos released publicly for the first time appear to corroborate NATO assertions that Russian forces are operating in Ukraine territory.






Ukraine Leader Says ‘Huge Loads of Arms’ Pour in From Russia
President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine said that mercenaries and regular Russian servicemen were trying to overrun positions held by the Ukrainian military.







Chile Is Poised To Pass South America’s First Carbon Tax

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Chile Is Poised To Pass South America’s First Carbon Tax

It’s a big year for fighting climate change in Chile.

The post Chile Is Poised To Pass South America’s First Carbon Tax appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Chile's Atacama Desert.

Chile’s Atacama Desert.

CREDIT: Shutterstock

It’s a big year for fighting climate change in Chile. A carbon tax is set to go before its House of Representatives next week, as part of a larger tax reform package that includes measures intended to fight air pollution and climate change. Chile would become the first country in South America to institute a carbon tax, and the second in Latin America after Mexico, which imposed its carbon tax in January.

A carbon tax is what it sounds like. The government charges emitters of carbon pollution for every metric ton they release into the atmosphere. Carbon taxes are gaining popularity as a way to massively cut the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere, while creating jobs, raising incomes, and cutting deficits in countries where they’re implemented. British Columbia, Canada has had a carbon tax since 2008 and has seen success cutting energy use and carbon emissions, and giving revenue from the tax back to low-income families to offset higher energy prices.

Chile’s initial tax will be $5 per ton of CO2, and Mexico’s taxes fuels at different rates, averaging out to about $3.50 per ton. Those are both pretty low, but once a carbon tax is in place, it can be raised. British Columbia’s started at C$10 per ton in 2008, ramping up over the years to C$30 in 2012. A study in California found that even a $200-a-ton carbon price would actually help businesses and create jobs in the state, though it’s far higher than anything that has been tried yet.

There is currently no carbon tax in the United States, and any attempt to pass one would be extremely difficult, thanks in part to a pledge from the Koch-backed organization Americans For Prosperity that requires signers to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” A third of the U.S. House of Representatives and a quarter of Senators have signed the pledge.

Another point of comparison is how the revenue is used. In British Columbia, as in all successful real-world and simulated instances of a carbon tax, governments choose to give the tax revenue right back to the people, especially low-income people. That way, higher energy prices incentivize less carbon emission, but consumers get the money back, so they aren’t made poorer. Chile is expected to use most funds from the tax on education reform, which wouldn’t necessarily cancel out potential economic drag like giving the money directly back to consumers would.

Gariazzo Rodrigo Pizarro, head of the division of environmental economics in the Chilean government, said the tax could also help Chile invest in renewable energy. “We believe that changing the price allocation through taxes is enough to generate a greener economy,” he said.

Chile already has already started construction on South America’s first solar thermal plant in the Atacama Desert, which will provide heat to a mining company. Copper mining is a significant part of the country’s economy, and a big user of fossil fuel power. Chile currently produces little power inside the country, importing 70 percent. On the other hand, the Atacama Desert gets the highest levels of direct solar radiation in the world, and Chile has huge potential for hydraulic, wind, and geothermal power as well.

The carbon tax appears to be a bid to encourage energy independence through renewables, as well as a move against climate change. Chile plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020, from 2007 levels.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who took office in March, included the carbon tax and taxes on toxic chemicals like nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide in a wide-ranging reform plan intended to reduce inequality, protect workers, close tax loopholes for the wealthy, and fund education. Women’s health advocates are also hopeful Bachelet’s administration could bring an end to Chile’s total ban on abortion.

The post Chile Is Poised To Pass South America’s First Carbon Tax appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Black Millennials Are Emerging as the ‘Movement Generation’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Black Millennials Are Emerging as the ‘Movement Generation’
From: Mychal Denzel Smith

If you’re asking the question “Where is the movement?” you simply haven’t been paying attention.

Immigrant Rights Advocates Stage Civil Disobedience at the White House
From: Zoë Carpenter

Immigrants and allies rallied in more than a dozen US cities on Thursday to ask President Obama to use his executive authority to stop deportations of undocumented workers and their families.

Stephen Cohen: Kiev Intensifies Mortar Attacks in Eastern Ukraine
From: Nation in the News

Stephen Cohen has the latest analysis of the situation in Ukraine.

The ‘Washington Post’ Op-Ed Page Wants More War (Again)
From: Eric Alterman

Eric on this week's concerts and Reed on The Washington Post's call for war. 

What the Twin Plagues of ISIS and Ebola Have in Common
From: Foreign Policy In Focus

Both thrive on the breakdown of the existing social order.